Sunday, May 6, 2012

Don’t Lose – Fuel Your Mind while Unemployed

“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size”. Oliver Wendell Holmes Out of town this week so I am relying on a contributor I met some time ago to provide some very important tips to those unemployed who think, at times, that they may be losing their mind! Being unemployed is out of one’s element. The routine is changed, and one can become lonely. Brian Jenkins who writes for Brain provides some very pertinent and useful tips one can employed to stop the craziness which I have included here. Expand your mind – improve your skills One point Brian recommends is using your time unemployed to expand your mind and skills and he presents some very good links to programs in online learning. Many are free. What better way to use this time and prepare yourself for the market. Hope you enjoy. Back next week. And thank you for reading this. – Dan How to Keep Your Sanity While Out of Work and Job Hunting After losing a job, your source of income is gone along with your daily structure, personal work relationships, and, perhaps most importantly, your sense of purpose. You may feel as if you're on an emotional roller-coaster. You may feel frustrated and depressed, so what can you do? Here are some useful tips to help you keep your sanity while out of work and looking for a job: Volunteer: Volunteering boosts your self-esteem and overall level of satisfaction. Doing good for others provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Volunteering makes you feel better about yourself and it makes you feel useful. Additionally, volunteering combats depression because it keeps you from feeling isolated; it keeps you in regular contact with people. Volunteering also looks good on a resume and provides networking opportunities. Get some sunlight: According to a study by Gavin Lambert of the Baker Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, a sunny day can boost your mood. The study shows the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin on sunny days than on darker days. The study shows the rate of serotonin production in the brain is directly related to the duration of bright sunlight. So get outside every day! Go somewhere: It's easy to get depressed sitting alone in your house all day. Try to get out of the house every day - take a walk, go to a shopping mall, be among people. Physical activities: Aerobic exercises, jogging, and other physical activities help you to use up the excess energy produced by stress. Experts suggest at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Being active can boost your feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. Exercise also gives you important time away from worrying about finding a job. According to the prestigious Mayo Clinic, almost any type of exercise, from aerobics to weightlifting, can relieve stress. The Mayo Clinic also states that regular exercise can increase self-confidence and decrease the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. The Mayo Clinic goes on to say that exercise can ease your stress levels and provide you with a sense of command over your body and your life. Stick to a schedule:After losing a job, it's important to build and maintain a new routine. Go to bed and get up at about the same time each day. Treat your job search like a job - set a daily job search schedule. Overqualified?: Take a job you're overqualified for to make ends meet. The job also gives you something to do during the day, and it's just temporary. Consider also taking a part-time job you're over qualified for. Studies show it's easier to get hired for a new job while employed. People tend to define themselves by their job titles, but you are way more than your job. Focus on what you're getting from the job instead of what you're not getting. With most jobs there are things you can learn and skills you can develop. Support from family members and friends: It's easy to feel useless and depressed when your unemployed. You need to vent these feelings. The positive comments and encouragement you'll likely receive helps you cope with being unemployed. When you share your burdens, your problems are put in a better perspective and will seem less difficult. Unemployed people often feel a sense of isolation and loneliness; talk and socialize with your friends. Consider joining a job-seekers' support group. Learn something new: Challenge yourself to learn something new; meeting the challenge will keep you busy and increase your self-confidence. Take online courses: Taking classes gives you something positive to do, and they also enhance your resume. If money is a problem take free online courses from notable colleges. Through OpenCourseWare, many colleges and universities offers free access to courses taught previously. OpenCourseWare includes materials used in courses, suggestions for reading material, and lecture notes. Some classes include video or audio lectures. You can learn at your convenience. Here's a list of some of the schools offering free classes in a wide array of subjects: • Yale University • Utah State • UMass Boston • UC Irvine • Notre Dame Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers a large number of free courses. MIT's Sloan School of Business Management provides a large list of undergraduate business courses. The free courses allow you to gain knowledge and skills, enhance your resume, and do something positive with your free time. Also, when you're asked what you do for a living, you can say, "I'm looking for a job and I'm taking classes at MIT!" Think of being unemployed as a challenge. A lot of successful people have been unemployed. Take care of yourself, stay positive, and keep busy. Brian Jenkins writes about many different college and career topics for He has contributed content to BrainTrack's career planning guide. Dan Moran President & Founder Next-Act Career Management & Transition Specialists Celebrating 24 years providing career management services in 2012! 125 Wolf Road, Suite #128 Albany, NY 12205 Office: 518-261-4212 Cell: 518-641-8968 eFax: 586-279-4212

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